2018 Annual Report

The Forest Foundation launched several key partnerships and campaigns in 2018, making the year one of its most productive yet. Under the Results Framework launched in 2017, the Foundation’s main goal is the protection and sustainable management of Philippine forests and biodiversity, which will be accomplished through four main objectives: grow forests, grow livelihoods, grow partnerships, and grow advocates. This is being implemented in the Foundation’s focal landscapes: Sierra Madre, Palawan, Samar and Leyte, and Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental.

Grant Program: Project Highlights

Multi-Stakeholders Approach to the Sustainable Management of the Quirino Forest Landscape

The Foundation awarded a grant to the Sustainable Environment for Rural Development Association, an organization under the Quirino State University, to facilitate collaboration among stakeholders in the Sierra Madre Mountain Range. This multi-year project aims to capacitate CBFMA holders, establish reforestation farms, and declare select natural forests as community watersheds.

Leyte Sab-a Peatland Forest Restoration Initiative Project

The Foundation awarded a grant to the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction to protect, restore, and manage the ecosystem services of the 1,286-hectare Leyte Sab-a Basin Peatland Forests.  The implementing partners include the Visayas State University, Environmental Legal Assistance Center, the DENR Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), local government, and relevant communities. 

Small Island Ecosystems Program 

The Foundation launched its Small Island Ecosystems Program under its Focused Grants Program, which supports forest management strategies in islands with known endemics and land areas of less than 2,000 square kilometers (of which 30% has natural forest cover).  This resulted in the approval of a three-year watershed management project with the Municipal Government of Basco, Batanes and research organizations to explore strategies to sustain Mt. Iraya’s ecosystem services.

Kape’t Buhay Program in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental
The Foundation worked with the Philippine Coffee Alliance Inc. to achieve the following in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental:

  • Provide technical assistance and training to community partners to establish their respective coffee agroecosystems, advance post-harvest mechanisms, manage their enterprises, and link them to markets
  • Empower at least 12 community and indigenous people groups in implementing forest protection, restoration, and governance projects


Community and Forest-based Social Enterprise Development for the Forest Foundation Philippines Focal Areas

The Foundation awarded a grant to Bayan Academy for Social Entrepreneurship and Human Resource Development to support three community-based enterprises in Samar and Palawan This includes:

  • Tying the economic productivity of traditional weavers to the sustainable sourcing of raw materials from the forest
  • Agroforestry business design for cacao growers
  • Strategic marketing campaigns for community-based ecotourism

Strengthening Capacities and Capabilities for Forest Management

The Foundation strengthened its commitment to the multilateral environmental agreements on forest conservation and REDD+ by: 

  • Providing support for forest management bodies and civil society organizations to actively participate in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  • Partnering with Climate Focus North America Inc. to support the New York Declaration of Forest (NYDF) Progress Assessment through information and knowledge exchange

Geography of Governance: Landscape and Resource Management

Following through with its partnership with Tropenbos International in 2017, the Foundation launched a national dialogue titled “Geography of Governance: Landscape and Resource Management.” The dialogue served as a multi-sectoral, evidence-based platform for 184 participants to share experiences and enable effective landscape governance. 

Mount Mantalingahan Protected Area Landscape (MMPL) Endowment Fund

The MMPL Endowment Fund awarded its first grant to the Institute for the Development of Educational and Ecological Alternatives. The grant aims to amplify environmental awareness of various MMPL stakeholders through institutional, educational, and promotional materials, and engagement through community and school caravans. 

Best Friends of the Forest Movement

In March 2018, the Foundation launched its flagship advocacy campaign called the Best Friends of the Forest Movement (#BFFMovement). Implemented in partnership with Team Asia, it aims to inspire the youth (particularly action-oriented environmentalists, travelers, social entrepreneurs, and artists) to be advocates of forest conservation and protection. Its key activities included:

  • #BFFTalks, a learning event on forest protection conservation
  • #BFFTrails, a beginner forest appreciation trail
  • #ForestBloomsPH and #DrawNativeTreesPH workshops, a series of collaborative projects with illustrator and grantee Cynthia Bauzon-Arre to promote the importance of native trees in forest conservation
  • Ang Higanteng Haligi sa Hilaga, a stage play by award-winning playwright and grantee Eljay Deldoc that highlights the importance of the forest landscape of Sierra Madre 


Explorer Encounters 2018

The Foundation also supported the NatGeo and Masungi Georeserve’s Explorer Encounters 2018 event, which aimed to enhance the storytelling skills of young conservationists.

Administration of the Fund

Consistent with the TFCA 2 Agreement, the Foundation organizes the Board of Trustees’ meeting to discuss grantmaking concerns and review proposals. The BOT met four times in 2018.

In Numbers

  • Eighty-five proposals were received in 2018, with 57 of them approved. 
  • US$ 2,270,140 worth of funding was approved for grants in 2018.
  • Disbursed funding increased by 295% from US$ 728,770 in 2017 to US$ 2,156,323 in 2018.


No. of proposals received


No. of proposals approved

US$ 2,270,142

Total approved funding for grants

US$ 2,156,323

Total disbursed funding for grants

US$ 1,647,389

Total counterpart match


Total matching funds as % of approved grants

US$ 350,634

Amount spent on indirect costs

US$ 746,303

Interest & capital gained on

US$ 20,649,171

Fund balance at the end of the year